The MAIDEN Years: 2018/19/20/21/22/ad infinitum (Rock in Rio and Nights of the Dead)

Actually sometimes I like unfinished art, there's an elegance I find (except Necropolis).
Plus the door remains open for future endeavors i.e., Iced Earth's Something Wicked this Way Comes saga: Started with 3 songs then became 2 1/2 albums a decade later.
i.e., Iced Earth's Something Wicked this Way Comes saga: Started with 3 songs then became 2 1/2 albums a decade later.
Those were full of filler unfortunately. Some interesting ideas spread out over both albums, but I believe if Jon had taken another year or so to work on them they'd be much better records.
Believe it or not, I have high regard of anything Saga and I don't mean concept or lyrics, I mean music, I like them so much, especially the first 2; I listen to them from start to finish.
Maiden introduce characters and concepts all the time for the purposes of just one song.

I agree with what you're saying, but there is a bit more to that. When Maiden introduce a character like Charlotte or the Seventh Son, and basically tell you "that's the story", it's fine. I never really cared for the Necropolis thing, but I remember how there was a huge fuss about Benjamin Breeg. There were a lot of hints at the time that the song wasn't the whole story and they were going to do more with it, and in an interview (I don't have a link, don't ask, it's in a printed magazine I have stowed away in a box) Steve said they were going to commission a horror novel around the story.
It kind of bummed me out at the time when it became apparent that this wasn't happening, although I admit I don't really care anymore and just enjoy the song for what it is.
What IS the story of Benny Breeg? Because I barely remember the Internet campaign and the song lyrics seem to have fuck-all to do with him.
when i was in high school i thought it was amazing. And that's what I remember about it. :D

Book of Souls seemed like a GREAT album to me when it came out. But after six years, I only listen to the title track, the great unknown and the red and the black.
The Book of Souls: Live Chapter
A new Maiden tour is always an exciting moment, but this tour had extra significance given the band were forced to take 2015 off and Bruce had just recently recovered from cancer. In 2015, it was uncertain whether Maiden would even tour again, so these shows felt very special. Not only was this a special tour based on the circumstances, this ended up having some of the best Maiden performances in years. Since 2008 at least. The band was on fire for this tour. You could say that maybe they had a fire lit under them after being hit in the face with mortality, but the newfound energy is also reflected in the studio album which was made before Bruce knew he had cancer. Speaking of Bruce, just like on the studio album, he sounds at least ten years younger on this tour. His voice has aged for sure, but it has so much more power and he isn’t straining nearly as much as he did from 2010 - 2014. The stage show was also awesome, a well detailed and immersive set to rival the 80s.

Finally, after almost 16 years and five albums, this lineup has figured out how to make great setlists on album tours. This tour proved that you could be heavy on new material but also bring out classics that were a little deeper than the standard fare. Children of the Damned and Powerslave were both great additions that were fairly rare and typically confined to nostalgia tours. COTD especially was great because although it had been played a few times before, it was always a late stage addition to a tour. This was the first time in decades that it was in the setlist from the start, so it was a first for a lot of audiences. Powerslave was a personal favorite for me as I missed SBIT and wasn’t quite sure I would ever get to hear this fantastic track live. Great surprise! Even by the end of the show, when the setlist typically gets more predictable, there are still some curveballs. Blood Brothers, a reunion era track, in the encore was fantastic. Wasted Years as a closer? Yes! The best close to a Maiden show I’ve ever experienced. It was a very well balanced set, with new songs sandwiched between a fine selection of classics.

And as for the new songs, TBOS was definitely a more live ready album than TFF. If not for the length, they could’ve easily played all of it live. I’m glad we got 7 songs though. Way better than the 5 from TFF, and an awesome surprise to have a 7th song thrown in for the second leg. I don’t really have any complaints about the choices. All the best songs were selected and they all went down incredibly well. Songs that were possibly iffy on the album, such as The Red and the Black and Death or Glory, really came to life on stage. Songs that were album highlights, like IESF and the title track, were amazing live moments. Sure they didn’t play Empire of the Clouds, but they were pretty clear that they wouldn’t and that song honestly would’ve caused the energy level to grind to a halt. It would be better for a special one off.

Something I thought about for the first time today that may have played a hand in things is that this is the first time the band has truly taken two years to tour on a new album. TFF in 2010 was mostly before the album had been released and they didn’t start playing the rest of those songs until 2011. AMOLAD was co-opted into a half nostalgia tour in 2007. Dance of Death extended into early 2004 but the tour started in late 2003 and only lasted a few months so it doesn’t really count. Brave New World only went into January 2001 because of Rock in Rio (although to be fair this is where they brought in some extra BNW songs). Maybe having two full years of touring gave the band more confidence to bring in a new song from TBOS, since they had more time than usual playing the new material.

As for the live album, once again Steve Harris compiled it by selecting his favorites from throughout the tour. I think the selection is fine, it’s mostly the 2016 leg which seemed to be the stronger performances. Bruce sounds good and they did a good job capturing this tour’s energy and excitement. Generally I would prefer they just choose one show, but considering the results of En Vivo and Nights of the Dead, maybe this is actually the way to go. This, along with Rock in Rio and Flight 666, are probably my upper echelon of reunion era live albums. My only real complaint is that they didn’t include Tears of a Clown, seems like an odd choice given they sourced so much from 2016 anyway. The only thing I can think of is that on both times of the tour, they messed up the intro. Maybe this was a common thing and they couldn’t find a live recording they were happy with. Still, I hold out hope for a live vinyl single (with the tour drape as the artwork) with Tears of a Clown on the a side and Hallowed (the other omitted live song) on the b side. Wouldn’t that be cool?
I love the selection as I'd always wanted to be in the crowd on an official Maiden live album. and not only did I get that with Donington, but a home town one for Wrathchild as well!
I do really enjoy TBOS:LC. I think that pulling from several shows is a great way to assemble the album and firmly showcase that the band is still a rousing success, even after Bruce’s cancer crisis. It’s not their best live record but it is one that I enjoy coming back to.
TBOS:LC is a very weird album for me. I've owned it since release, but for whatever reason haven't listened to it the whole way through yet (I'm on it though!). I've heard NOTD a bunch and noticed the weird way the crowd is mixed and was wondering if Live Chapter has the same issue. So far it seems a bit better, but what the hell is going on in the intro to Wrathchild? The excited shouts of the audience start very suddenly, all at the same time at a loud volume. Sounds very unnatural and most likely automation going from off to full volume without a gradual increase.

Gotta listen to the rest though, the setlist looks phenomenal and at least there's the Wacken gig for TOAC.
I really don't like the Book of Souls as an album, however, 2016 was the best year I've seen them. I liked the inclusion of the newer tracks at the time, and the band sounded the best then to me.
I love the TBOS:LC concert video on Amazon Prime. It's definitely one of the better official live documents. It's just a shame they didn't do a blu-ray release with extras.
The Book of Souls: Live Chapter
Speaking of Bruce, just like on the studio album, he sounds at least ten years younger on this tour. His voice has aged for sure, but it has so much more power and he isn’t straining nearly as much as he did from 2010 - 2014. The stage show was also awesome, a well detailed and immersive set to rival the 80s.
Don't agree with this. Bruce was quite uneven during the Book of Souls tour. His best shows were phenomenal, but he had plenty of weaker shows. In particular at the beginning and towards the end of the tour.
I've never bothered with any of the live stuff after Flight 666. The piped in crowd noise (*cough* Wrathchild on Live Chapter *cough*) just takes me out of it.
I dont like this live album, production is not at the very high level. I like idea for recordings from different shows, but Flight 666 was perfect and unique for that kind of live recordings this was just not so good.

Video edit is very bad. Guitarist with different guitars during the same song. Also Bruce singing, but in video you can see that he is not on stage or he is running aroung and worst part is "scream for me" some venue in Europe and in front row you can see only Japanes crowd.

Setlist was great, stage set also. Wacken concert with big rain is also great addition to this period.